Forbidden Surrender(4)

By: Carole Mortimer

'Enough of a great time to kiss me goodnight?'

She leant forward and kissed him lightly on the mouth. 'Goodnight,' she called before hurrying into the house.

They had both been wrong; their aunt and uncle weren't in bed at all, they were still in the lounge.

'But it's still worrying,' Aunt Susan could be heard insisting.

'You're worrying over nothing,' her husband chided

her. 'Just forget about it, it didn't mean a thing.'

'But, Arthur—'

'Susan!' he said sternly. 'I think I just heard Sara come in, so let's just drop the subject.'

Sara shrugged to herself, coughing to let them know of her presence. Her mother and stepfather often had minor arguments, but they usually passed within a day or so, and she felt sure things were no different between her aunt and uncle, the middle-aged couple seemed very happy together.

'Did you have a nice time, dear?' her aunt asked as she came into the room.

'Lovely,' she nodded agreement.

'Going out with him again?' Uncle Arthur eyed her over the top of his horn-rimmed glasses.

Sara blushed. 'Tomorrow.'

'Hear that, Susan?' he turned to his wife. 'Before you know it we'll have a wedding on our hands.'

'Arthur!' she warned.

'I'm not getting married for years yet, Uncle Arthur,' Sara told him hastily. 'I'm only twenty, almost twenty-one.'

'Susan and I had already been married two years by that time.'

'It was different when we were young, Arthur,' his wife chided. 'There's so much for young people to do nowadays, places to see, that they don't want to tie themselves down to marriage too young.'

He raised his eyebrows, his eyes twinkling with mischief. 'After all these years she finally tells me she married me out of boredom!' He winked at Sara.

'Go on with you!' his wife scorned. 'Where's Eddie taking you tomorrow?' she turned to ask Sara.

'Out to dinner and then on to a club, he said.' Her aunt and uncle's interest in her evening out was nothing unusual to Sara, her mother had always been interested in such things too, and it was in fact quite like home sitting and chatting like this after an enjoyable evening out.

'Better than a trip to a pub,' Uncle Arthur teased.

'I liked the pub.' Sara had been quite disappointed that Eddie had decided not to take her back there.

Aunt Susan stood up, putting down her knitting. 'Well, I'm for bed. Arthur?'

'I am too.' He stood up, stretching. 'It's nice having you with us, love,' he told Sara huskily.

She moved to hug him, tears in her eyes. 'It's nice to

be here. I wish now I'd come sooner, instead of waiting

until—' she broke off, stricken.

Her uncle patted her shoulder awkwardly. 'It's all right, Sara. We're your family now, for as long as you want us.'

'Thank you.' She kissed them both on the cheek before hurrying to her room.

The tears flowed readily once she closed her bedroom door; the loss of her parents was still a raw wound. Without Aunt Susan and Uncle Arthur's support the last few days she didn't know what she would have done; some of the moods of depression she had suffered in the States had been very black indeed.

After an exhaustive perusal of most of the museums the next day Sara didn't feel up to going anywhere that evening. But she had told Eddie she would go out with him and she couldn't let him down. If they were dining out he had probably had to book a table.

'Oh, you look lovely!' her aunt exclaimed as Sara came into the lounge to wait for Eddie.

She felt quite confident of her appearance, knowing her black dress would be suitable for any occasion, would blend in both at the restaurant and the club, its style demure while still managing to show the perfection of her figure, her breasts firm and uptilting, the slenderness of her waist emphasised by a thick black belt, her hips narrow in the pencil-slim styling of the dress. Her legs were long and smooth, her slender ankles shown to advantage in the high-heeled sandals she wore, a slender gold chain about one of her ankles. She had needed to wear it for one of her photographic sessions, and now found it an attractive piece of jewellery.

She sat down opposite her aunt, her long hair secured on the top of her head, leaving her neck slenderly vulnerable. 'Where's Uncle Arthur?'

'Gone for a drink with a few of his friends.' Her aunt carried on with her knitting, halfway through making a cardigan for her husband. 'It's a regular thing. It does him good to get out for an evening.'

Sara frowned. 'You should have told me, then I wouldn't have arranged to go out tonight.'

'You go out and have a good time,' she encouraged. 'To tell you the truth,' she confided with a smile. 'I usually doze off about nine o'clock.'

'I see,' Sara laughed. 'A bit of peace and quiet, hmm?'

'That's the idea. That will be Eddie,' Aunt Susan said as the doorbell rang.

Sara went and answered the door herself. Eddie was looking very smart in a navy blue suit and contrasting light blue shirt. His eyes widened as he saw her. 'You're ready.' He stepped into the hallway.